Strategy aimed at bridging UK energy and utility skills gap

The energy and utilities sector requires 221,000 new recruits by 2027, in order to provide the essential services its customers seek and the infrastructure the UK needs for its economic growth.

The Energy & Utilities Skills Partnership has been set up to build and launch the first ever joint Workforce Renewal and Skills Strategy for the sector, in a bid to ensure that the country’s energy and utilities sector retains a safe, skilled, resilient and sustainable workforce.

Nick Ellins, the Chief Executive of Energy & Utility Skills, who will manage the Strategy on behalf of the energy and utilities industry, said “The National Infrastructure Plan is now widely recognised as forming the backbone of industrial strategy, and more than half (56 per cent) of that plan is required to be delivered by the power, water, gas, wastewater and waste management industries. To date the accompanying infrastructure skills strategy has not explicitly recognised this critical contribution or done enough to ensure that the businesses involved have the right environment to ensure a sustainable and talented workforce exists.”
Tony Cocker
“This document begins the discussion, providing a framework that seeks to secure successful UK-wide skills provision through to 2020.”

Tony Cocker, Chief Executive of E.ON UK and Chair of the Energy & Utilities Skills Partnership, said: “We face an ageing workforce, increasing competition for talent with unemployment reaching its lowest recorded levels and a lack of proficient skills leading to over a third of vacancies being hard-to-fill. Therefore, as a partnership we seek to be the catalyst for change, sharing an ambition to achieve a more sustainable future.”

“It is key that businesses across our sector work together to raise the profile of the issues and recommendations outlined in the strategy and, ultimately, encourage and support more people, whatever their background, into training and long-term career opportunities in the energy and utilities industry.”

The Energy & Utilities Skills Partnership has already started to take action ” including a commitment from 20 utility-based businesses to a new 12-month pilot programme that seeks to encourage people into industry careers and develop a significant future sector talent pool. The Talent Source Network aims to help employers access hard-to-reach and diverse individuals as well as encourage professionals who are looking for new opportunities or to retrain.

Britain’s decision to leave the Europe Union is raising risks for 66,000 workers in the nuclear power industry and threatening to disrupt the flow of atomic fuel across international borders.

The need to produce a new generation of skilled workers has been further emphasised by the decision of the UK to leave both the EU and Euratom, the continent’s 60-year-old nuclear safety and research organization.

As well as workers there is also the problem of supply.à‚ Industry officials say leaving the European Atomic Community, or Euratom, would require the U.K. to spend years replicating rules and international agreements needed to trade radioactive materials with other nations.

Keeping UK nuclear-industry workers employed after Euratom will require new deals with non-EU countries including Australia, Canada, Japan and the U.S., according to Persbo, who called the impending negotiations “tricky business” for the international uranium trade.

Exiting Euratom could also exact a heavy price on British scientists and engineers developing next-generation nuclear technologies. While Euratom has guaranteed the 283 million euro $302m budget for the U.K.’s flagship research project, the Joint European Torus, or JET fusion reactor, future funding is uncertain unless EU workers retain the right to work and live in the UK.

No posts to display